NHS still under intense pressure as we move towards spring

10 March 2022

Responding to the latest monthly combined performance data, and the latest week of winter reporting data, from NHS England and NHS Improvement, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:

"These figures demonstrate that the NHS is still under intense pressure, despite moving towards spring, when we normally expect to see seasonal winter pressures ease.

"Urgent and emergency care remains under considerable strain, with 19% more incidents requiring an ambulance compared to two years ago.

"It is remains deeply concerning that 6.1 million people are on waiting lists for routine care, with significant backlogs across mental health and community services as well.

"NHS staff are working extremely hard under the circumstances, and delivered increased levels of diagnostic and elective activity this month. It is testament to the hard work of our frontline staff that the number of people seen by a consultant after an urgent cancer referral is higher than pre-pandemic, as is overall mental health activity.

"But workforce shortages continue to be a real concern as are recent increase in COVID-19 patients in hospital following weeks of falling admissions.

"Staff absences increased yet again this week, demonstrating why we need more staff in place to help ease the burden when colleagues are absent from work.

"The NHS now has 110,00 staff vacancies, and these gaps are putting significant pressure on quality of care and patient safety.

"This week health and social care secretary Sajid Javid set out his vision for reforming the NHS, including to tackle long waits for care.

"We need to see a long term workforce plan to help make this vision into a reality, and to help keep performance levels high."

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